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Sanders blames Trump for “racist child prisons”

June 15, 2019

On Wednesday, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) slammed President Donald Trump for running “racist child prisons” for sending migrant children to a former Japanese internment camp.

Sanders tweeted, “The internment of Japanese Americans is a stain on our history. It [sic] abhorrent that 75 years later, this administration now wants to hold migrant children in one of those same camps. We will look back on Trump’s racist child prisons as an abomination.”

Similar programs have existed under President Obama. Senator Sanders has not always been in total agreement with Obama’s handling of illegal immigrants, having said in 2016 that he would seek to end the “deportation regime” that was created under the president.

Meanwhile, Republicans such as Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma have expressed support for holding children at facilities such as Fort Sill in Oklahoma, a move he criticized while President Obama was in office. He blamed Obama for creating a crisis at the southern border, though numbers of illegal crossings dropped before Obama left office and rose sharply in recent months under President Trump.

In a 2014 statement, Senator Inhofe said, “Our nation has an immigration problem and a national security crisis, but I don’t believe the answer is for our military facilities to be transformed into a center that houses, feeds, and cares for illegal immigrants.”

Since last fall, more than half a million undocumented migrants arrived at the southern border, and according to officials, apprehensions are at the highest levels in a decade.

In may, approximately 144,000 migrants arrived at the southern border, and among them were approximately 11,000 “unaccompanied alien children,” as classified by the U.S. government. Those children were supposed to be transported to shelters within 72 hours, but due to filled capacities, Department of Health and Human Services officials said the shelters did not suit the children’s needs.

The Department of Health and Human Services says it needs $2.9 billion in emergency funding to be approved by Congress in order to pay for shelters.

Democrats have lambasted these shelters, saying many do not meet state requirements for child welfare as they are temporary shelters not meant for long term use.

Government officials have said that they need enough time to process each child so that they are placed in safe situations.

Approximately 13,200 undocumented minors are held in U.S. custody. Those in custody are mostly older children and teens who traveled alone to the border to meet with their parents or relatives who are already present in the U.S.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, those children spend an average 48 days at such shelters.

– MK. II

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